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A WTHR.com music review
Eluding Description: Von Iva

Posted: Feb 13, 2009 10:46 AM CST

Updated: Feb 14, 2009 08:40 PM CST

Rachel Hardy/WTHR.com
Von Iva with Beta Male, Radio Radio, Fountain Square

Indianapolis - There was a delayed arrival of the smokin' San Francisco-based band , Von Iva, to their Indianapolis show Thursday night. Turns out some of their hard-earned cash was snatched up, during a botched deposit, by a Chicago ATM. Despite that, the road-weary band of Von Iva served up a sizzling show at Radio Radio. This band didn't take a break from touring for part of February like the rest of the ticket did. The Hell on Heels Tour with Semi-Precious Weapons and Nico Vega is taking its toll on Von Iva's energy, but such powerful original sounds can't be brought down by the road or banking machinery. They appeared with local band Beta Male for a smaller show instead.

Jillian Iva is the band's frontwoman and vocalist. With a voice robust and echoing throughout Fountain Square, and dance moves charged to shock the crowd into getting out of their seats, Iva convinced the drowsy weeknight patrons to join her. She moves and struts and spins like Mick Jagger-- a Chick Jagger, if you will. She sings like she wants the whole universe to notice. When asked to describe herself in one word, she chooses "titillating."

The band's drummer, Lay Lay, is a Fort Wayne native, who likes to play in her town--where they are headed on Valentine's Day-- so that her friends and family get to see her perform. Never have drums seen so much torture or been put to such great use as they are at the hands of the drummer formerly known as Kelly Harris of Snider High School. It's surprising her skins aren't a dusty pile of rubble when she's done with them. Her one-word self-description: Raw.

Bex, who's in charge of everything that's not drums or vocals, introduced herself as Becky. She described herself in one word because I asked, and that word was "multitasking." And in a band like this, with a sound like theirs, that is putting it simply. She puts the groove in it, and what's dance music without groove?

Put all these women together, and you get a sound that is edgy and unique. It's hard to describe what they do by the standards of other music. They believe that music should evolve and that TV shows that do nationwide searches for vocal talent waterdown the chance for that evolution. They don't mind being described as "Street Glam," since it helps people sit up and take notice. Not everyone knows what Street Glam is supposed to sound like, so they get one more ear tuning in to find out. They keep the sounds minimal so that listeners can get inside the music, not so that it's easy, says Lay Lay. It's Cool Minimal. Or Simplified Power Dance. Or Groovetronic Rock.

Their unique sound and indie look were rewarded with a movie. The band is on the big screen right now as Zooey Deschanel's band in "Yes Man." They say they're proud to be in the movie and on the soundtrack, and it's brought them more hits on their Facebook and Myspace pages. They hope they'll get even more exposure through the extras when the DVD comes out. As Jillian said, the paparazzi aren't hounding them yet.

The way Von Iva puts on a show is easier to describe than their sound. Their show had a bone-vibrating effect, with the only treatment being to get up and move. Their performance in no way would have disappointed their number one fan, nor a Von Iva virgin. All three women have evolved with boldness and glamour in their DNA. They're Evolutionized Power Glam.